Prospective aetiological study of diaper dermatitis in the elderly.Br J Dermatol. 2006 Nov; 155(5):941-6.BJ
The different causes of diaper dermatitis (DD) in the elderly are not well known and the treatment is often empirical.
To determine the causes of DD in the elderly and to evaluate the efficacy of antifungal treatments in this indication.
Consecutive patients presenting with DD were included. Clinical evaluation, skin swabs for bacterial and mycological cultures, patch testing and skin biopsy were performed at inclusion. This was followed by 1 month of topical antifungal cream and, if needed, by oral fluconazole for the second month.
Forty-six patients were included (mean age 85 years). Causes of DD were established for 38 patients: 24 had candidiasis (63%), six irritant dermatitis (16%), four eczema (11%) and four psoriasis (11%). After 2 months of treatment, 27 of 37 (73%) patients were cured and five of 37 were improved.
Mycoses and irritant dermatitis are the main causes of DD in the elderly, and emollient skin care and topical antifungal treatment can be considered a first-line therapy for this indication.